U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, spoke by phone with the leadership of AIPAC this afternoon.
According to Jewish leaders and campaign officials, Biden and AIPAC leaders had “a warm conversation” that lasted about 20 minutes.
Biden, who was introduced by AIPAC President David Victor, spoke of his long relationship with the organization that extends back to the 1970s. He also spoke of his longstanding support of Israel.
“It was an opportunity to call and talk about some of the issues they’ve worked on in the past and some of the issues they can continue to work on,” said a campaign official.
The conference call was one of a number that Biden has conducted in recent days with the leaderships of various influential organizations.
Alaska Gov. **Sarah Palin*, the Republican vice presidential candidate, met with AIPAC leaders for about 45 minutes during the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul earlier this month.
Biden and presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain have no meetings scheduled with AIPAC leaders, though the organization signaled it would be delighted if the candidates’ schedules permitted for such a gathering.
AIPAC issued the following statement after the Biden conference call:
“We had a very warm conversation with Senator Biden today, as we have many times throughout the years, about the importance of the U.S-Israel relationship, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future. We had an opportunity to express our appreciation for his strong leadership in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased to hear Senator Biden reaffirm his desire to maintain his close relationship with AIPAC as we work together to strengthen the special friendship between the two democracies over many years to come.
“Senator Biden is a strong supporter of Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship, and has longstanding, close ties to AIPAC and the pro-Israel community. Throughout his career in the Senate, he has been a staunch supporter of U.S. aid to Israel, a leader in the fight against Palestinian terrorism, a vocal advocate for the special relationship between the two democracies, and he shares our goal of stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Joe Biden has been to Israel numerous times and has gotten to know many of Israel’s most important leaders, starting with Golda Meir.
“Now that both the Democrats and the Republicans have determined their respective tickets, AIPAC is pleased that the parties have selected four pro-Israel candidates. In so doing, they have reaffirmed the broad bi-partisan support that exists in our country for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
Update “Sen. Biden expressed his appreciation for AIPAC’s important work supporting Israel’s security and the U.S.-Israel relationship, and that he looks forward to continuing to work with them as partners on these issues in the future as he has in the past,” said a campaign adviser.